Friday, May 25, 2007

A new continent...

Jacques' boss from England came over to visit the office and had some big news for Jacques. I was away at the time, on holiday in Langkawi with my mum and sister. Jacques rang and said he had been offered the American CFO job based in Chicago. I was totally stunned for a moment. Jacques sounded excited and wanted my reaction. ‘OK’ I stalled ‘But when?’ ‘As soon as possible' he said and chatted on about his new role, which he had wanted to do since he joined the company five years ago.

I told the kids straight away, not wanting them to overhear confusing conversations. ‘What will you miss?’ I asked Marc and we sat on the edge of the pool. ‘My friend Adam’ he said immediately. Nina said the beach and the tropical life. Then I told my mum, who said she thought it would be a good move, and at least we would be nearer to them. I thought how faraway we must be to them and that seemed one good reason to go to America, although I couldn’t think of any other reasons…apart from that we knew we would have had to leave Asia sooner or later.

It was soon confirmed and before we knew it we were applying for visas and working out what to do with all the furniture we had accumulated in three years. It seemed too soon though and my heart was aching as I broke the news. As news spread round the KL grapevine I found out I was not the only one. Liz, my Indian friend from the condo was off to Singapore, Audrey to Dubai and several families were returning to France.

The reaction to our news was very nationalistic. The Brits or anyone who had American connections said great things about Chicago and everyone knew someone who had lived there and loved it. The French were mortified we would go to country run by George Bush. Such was the strength of anti-American feeling among the French, after their President Jacques Chirac had refused to join in the war against Iraq, which in retrospect had been a good decision, but who was to know?

The children looked up Chicago on the map and Jacques optimistically told them wew would be living on a new continent, which sounded exciting.

All we could do was make a list of things to do before we left and begin to imagine our new life in USA…

No comments: